1. What went well this year?
Music (to a certain extent). I played my first festival in Richmond, VA this year in April, played my first sold out show, put out my first EP, put out the first documentary about my career, started to learn how to play keys, and learned some fundamentals of production/mixing.
Travel. I mean, it was decent. I visited my old life in Switzerland, went to Virginia and Missouri for the first time, and spent like 2 days in Boise.
Reading. I don’t think I actually read that many books, but I’ve made it a habit to read each night before bed. Started that towards the end of the year.
Quality Time. I do think I did a good job of spending time with people I care about this year, especially when it comes to talking about things that matter rather than small talk.
Willpower. There’s always room for improvement here, but after taking last January without coffee, I decided to give myself a challenge each month of 2018 to help build habits/more willpower. I stuck with all of them pretty well and it’s something I’d like to continue with this year.
2. What didn’t go well this year?
Shows. I really didn’t play any shows this year. I played one in January at Dante’s, one in March at Mississippi Pizza, and the only other one I played was my release show at Alberta St. Pub in October, aside from a couple brewery gigs for money. The shows all had good turnouts, but I feel like this doesn’t look that good for me on paper. To be fair, a lot of that time went to recording and promoting, and it’s hard to tell which is more important sometimes. To me, shows seem like a good way to keep me relevant to people who already know who I am and what I do. But as far as reaching a new audience goes, I’m not sure that playing shows helps at all. It’s really difficult to tell.
Work. I wasted a lot of time working at restaurants that wouldn’t promote me and ended up going back to a job that I left when I was 20. It pays better, but backtracking never feels good to me. I always waste a lot of mental capacity by thinking about my jobs and how I could be doing them better rather than making music.
Moderation. When it comes to doing a lot of things for me, like writing, recording, or learning new things, I’m either doing them every day or I don’t do them at all. I don’t think it’s realistic to do everything I need to every day and still have a job and a social life, but I do think I can find a better schedule where I can be creating more.
Response Time. I need to get back to people faster. Not that I’m worse than average, but it happens all too often that I get a text from someone and won’t respond for a day or two… even though I end up texting them the exact think I would have if I responded right away.
Foresight. I haven’t been good at planning things in advance, which doesn’t come in handy when all of my friends are playing dope festivals in the summer and I’m stuck at work.
I don’t know what category to put this under, but I don’t think I did a great job with hanging out with people who inspire me this year. I think the hardest part about working in restaurants is being around people who aren’t very motivated.
3. What Am I Working Towards?
I want to be a more self-sufficient musician… at least in terms of output. I want to produce and mix my own songs. I want to make music, which is something I spend a lot of time talking about but less time doing. I want to release my next EP this year, but I want to do the release better than last time. I want to build more momentum leading up to it, I want it to be heard by more people, and I want the songs to get on Spotify playlists.
I want to be more focused and effective. I want to spend less time floundering between tasks and more time planning and executing.
I think it’s important to note that I do think I’m doing a pretty good job being the person I want to be, but there’s still a lot more that I want.
That’s all for now. This does feel a little half-assed, but the end of this year came up so fast that I didn’t give myself much time to think about it.